Julie Lewis

Julie writes editorial opinion for The Sun-Herald and The Sydney Morning Herald on a wide variety of topics from politics to health, social issues and sport.

Rita Smith (front row, middle) in a group photo of women members of the Sandgate Amateur Swimming Club .

Learning to swim your own race a victory in itself

I was destined to spend a large slice of my childhood summers at the public pool. My grandmother, Rita Smith, was a champion swimmer in Queensland in the early 1930s, her exploits the stuff of family lore, and it was a special treat when we grandchildren visited her house if she let us look through a sheaf of newspaper clippings the colour of tea stains that took us back to her triumphs.